Welcome to BörnerLab

Research Overview

  1. Synthesis and design of functional hybrid polymers (bioconjugates)
  2. Bio-mimetic formation of structure and function in synthetic polymers (peptide-guided organization and structure based functions)
  3. Pseudopeptides and precision polymers for biomedical applications (integrated polymer systems for gene or drug delivery)
  4. Bio-functionalization of surfaces (bioactive polymer fibers, scaffolds and material interfaces; Bio-inspired adhesion segments in block copolymers, (bio)-functional coatings, crystal growth modifiers)

Objectives: Controlling interactions in synthetic polymers as precisely as in proteins would have a strong impact on polymer science. Advanced structural and functional control can lead to rational design of, integrated nano- and microstructures. To achieve this, properties of oligopeptides were exploited. By incorporating these as monodisperse segments into synthetic polymers we show how to program structure formation in polymers, control inorganic-organic interfaces in fiber composites, induce structure in biomacromolecules for biomedical applications and generate bioactive surfaces to control biological systems.


29.03.2024 - Enhancing Adhesion Properties of Commodity Polymers through Thiol-Catechol Connectivities: A Case Study on Polymerizing Polystyrene-Telechelics via Thiol-Quinone Michael-Polyaddition
 New paper released in ACS Macro Letters.

Background: By incorporating only 3 mol% of thiol-catechol connectivities (TCCs) as functional adhesive groups into large polystyrene block copolymers could increase adhesive strength by up to 600% while keeping the integrity of the polymer segments.

Full article link: 
13.12.2023 - Organic transformation of lignin into mussel-inspired glues: next-generation 2K adhesive for setting corals under saltwater
 New Paper released in Green Chemistry.

Background: The activation of lignin crosslinked with multi-thiol via thiol-catechol-connectivity (TCC) has led to the development of mussel-inspired and high-performing 2K adhesives that are ideal for setting corals in saltwater environments.

Full article link: https://doi.org/10.1039/D3GC03680D

17.11.2023 - Dissertation Award Berlin 2022 for Dr. Jana Krüger
Congratulations to our alumna Dr. Jana Krüger!

Background: The Dissertation Award Berlin, valued at 5000 €, is given out by Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Technische Universität Berlin. Laureate of the 2022 award is Dr. Jana Krüger of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She is being honored for her dissertation titled "Muschelinspirierte Polymerisation: Über die vollsynthetische Variante der enzymaktivierten Herstellung universeller Haftstoffe", written in the Börner-Group, which led to a new chemical platform for underwater adhesives.

Follow the link for the german version.
09.11.2023 - Ligating Catalytically Active Peptides onto Microporous Polymers: A General Route Toward Specifically-Functional High Surface Area Platforms
New Paper released in ChemSusChem.

Background: The bio-orthogonal tetrazine-norbornene ligation via an inverse electron-demand Diels-Alder reaction offers a generic route to the post-synthetic modification of microporous polymers. Equipping the porous scaffolds with norbornene derivatives enables click-like ligation to introduce functional tetrazines, including a peptide-based organocatalyst. This demonstrates the accessibility of the catalytic sites in the porous materials by achieving high activity and selectivity in an enamine catalysis.

Full article link: https://doi.org/10.1002/cssc.202301045
27.10.2023 - Two talk-prizes for our postdoc Dr. Tilmann Neubert
 Congratulations to our postdoc Dr. Tilmann Neubert!

Tilmann was awarded with talk prizes at two conferences, the “2023 SALSA Make & Measure: Interfaces” (1st of 3 prizes, voted by the audience) and the "Sorrento 2013 – Sorrento 2023: A Decade of Peptide Materials” (best contributed oral presentation, awarded by the organizers).

Photos by Daniel Pasche (left) and Hans Börner (right)

01.09.2023 - Statistical Copolymers that Mimic Aspects of Mussel Adhesive Proteins: Access to Robust Adhesive-Domains for Non-Covalent Surface PEGylation
New Paper released in Macromolecular Rapid Communications.

Background: The robust anchoring of mussels to various substrates inspired the synthesis of a set of PEG-block-copolymers. Relevant side-chain functionalities of Dopa, Lys, and Arg residues found in mussel foot proteins are mimicked by functional acrylates to compose π-cation motifs. PEG-b-copolymers are synthesized by controlled radical polymerization. Waterborne coatings, show clear optima in stability and antifouling properties, preventing A549 cell adhesion.

Full article link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/marc.202300300
07.08.2023 - Peptide-based Organocatalyst on Stage: Functionalizing Mesoporous Silica by Tetrazine-Norbornene Ligation
New Paper released in ChemCatChem

Background: Tetrazine-Norbornene ligation through inverse electron-demand Diels-Alder reaction has been employed as a novel strategy to immobilize a peptide-based catalyst onto different mesoporous silica supports. Functionalized silica monoliths as well as silica particles in packed bed reactors have been applied in the enantioselective flow catalysis of the addition reaction between ß-nitrostyrene and n-butanal.

Full article link: https://doi.org/10.1002/cctc.202300778
26.05.2023 - Tetrazine-norbornene versus azide-norbornene ligation: evaluating the toolbox for polymer–polymer coupling
New Paper released in Polymer Chemistry.

Background: Two segment-segment coupling strategies for accessing block-copolmyers are compared, investigating the ligation chemistries of norbornenes with either asymmetric tetratines or azides.

Full article link: https://doi.org/10.1039/D3PY00320E
17.09.2022 - Antimicrobial finish of polyethersulfone-membranes: Sticking photosensitizers like marine mussels would do
New Paper released in Advanced Engineering Materials.

A chlorin-based photosensitizer, known from photodynamic therapy was derivatized to realize antimicrobial finishes for water-filtration membranes. The introduced catechol moieties known from adhesive systems of marine mussels, improved the coating stability and affect both positioning and packing of the photosensitizers, to retain singlet oxygen production. The irradiation of coated membranes by visible light significantly reduces bacterial growth of both gram-positive and gram-negative strains.

Full article link: https://doi.org/10.1002/adem.202201279

30.05.2022 - Congratulations to Jana Krüger
Today Jana Krüger has defended her outstanding PhD theses „Muschelinspirierte Polymerisation: Über die vollsynthetische Variante der enzymaktivierten Herstellung universeller Haftstoffe“ with “summa cum laude”.

Congratulations and good luck for your future career!

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